Meghan (Mad Meg) Rutledge took off from Alice Springs on day one with the odds stacked against her. Meghan’s early training efforts didn’t see her cover the entire track and she came down with flu symptoms the day before the race. Despite all of this, Meghan pulled off 5th in her class (class 4) and 29th position outright in 2 hours and 32 minutes on the first day.
Day two saw the riders embark on the 226km circuit back from Finke to Alice Springs. Meghan was in form and holding the throttle wide open on her Kawasaki KX250F until a crash robbed her of up to one minute. Determined and inspired by the previous day’s results, Meg pushed on to finish a minute faster than her efforts on the previous day, granting her an overall result of 29th position outright and 6th in her class.
“My KX250F has such a strong motor. It didn’t matter that it was revving out the whole time, it just held on the whole way and was perfect the whole time.”
“I didn’t get to ride the full track for training in the days leading up to the race, which I would have liked to give me an idea of what to expect. But it definitely helped me with the section of the track that I did ride.”
“The Dust was the hardest thing as I was battling with riders at same pace, especially at the start and the first 40 km, I couldn’t see anything! I just had to follow the dust until I got to a section of the track that I knew well enough.”
“The finish line was the most rewarding thing about the race. Getting there in one piece and an amazing result topped it all off. Plus I had 3 fuel stops (60km 120 and 180km) because we didn’t have the luxury of a support crew like some of the other riders, which allowed them to only stop twice. This cost me about 6 minutes or so.”
According to Meghan, her time could be the quickest ever female effort at the Finke Dessert Race.
Kawasaki supported Matt Jones of Matt Jones Motorcycles also displayed a strong effort in this year’s Finke Desert Race with 92nd and 111th positions in days one and two respectively, giving him an overall result of 94th outright.
“The whole event is a great experience, from camping out to pushing yourself to finish and you always want to do better. It’s not so much the racing aspect that most people find rewarding, it’s everything else that comes with the journey and finishing the race is a massive accomplishment!” Exclaimed Matt.
Click HERE to view the official 2016 Finke Desert Race results and timings.